What : West Bromwich Albion vs Chelsea FC, EPL Matchday 12
Where: The Hawthorns. West Bromwich, Sandwell, England
When: Saturday, November 17, 2012, 15:00 GMT
Not many would have predicted at the start of the season that Chelsea would have to face a West Brom side that sits 5th in the table and has exceeded all expectations so far. Chelsea, league leaders for much of the season, now lie third on 24 points from eleven games, three behind first-placed Manchester United, while West Brom are fifth on 20 points.
This match will see lots of handshakes and the fans of the opposite sides also do not have any serious problems with each other. It will be played in good spirit and it also sees a re union for both the managers to their old clubs : Di Matteo was Brom’s manager 2 seasons back and Steve Clarke remains a fan favorite at Chelsea having played for over 10 years and was the assistant manager under Jose Mourinho.
Both managers are ex Chelsea players
Team News :
The Blues have just 2 points from their last 3 games and desperately need all 3 points from this game as they face Manchester City next. But more importantly, Chelsea face Juventus in the crucial champions league tie in the midweek.
So we can see a few names being rested but one player who will certainly not play will be the club Captain John Terry who suffered a knee injury last weekend against Liverpool.
Club seniors Lampard and Cole still look doubtful. Moses is very likely to start and Oscar could be rested as he already played in the midweek for Brazil.
Similarly Luiz also played that game and so did Cahill for England and one of them is likely to get a rest and the other will partner Ivanovich in the back.
Azpilicuetta,Ivanovich, Cahill, Cole
West Brom :
The biggest talking point ahead of the match will be the non availability of Lukaku. FA’s new rule disallows a player to play against his parent club. It’s a shame because not only is he in descent form scoring 3 so far in the season but the Brom fans started to take a liking for the big man and made a song which reads “He’s bigger than a fridge and he comes from Stamford Bridge..Lukaku!! ”
But fortunately for them, they have Shane Long who has been doing a superb job leading the line. And with three goals thus far this season, he’ll continue to be the Baggies main source for goals. He will be partnered by Odemwinge who himself has scored 3 this season so far.
West Brom will be without first-choice goalkeeper Ben Foster, who has been ruled out with a groin problem, while Youssouf Mulumbu is hopeful of shaking off a hamstring issue. Defender Steven Reid could be back in contention after recovering from his long-term injury.
Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell
Morrison, Mulumbu, Yacob, Brunt
Prediction : West Brom 0-2 Chelsea
Despite the increase in West Brom’s form and a decline of the Blues’ form, Chelsea should win this game. Mata will be the key again and its not often that Petr Cech goes on a prolonged spell of not having a clean sheet.